Despite playing football in both the Irish League and League of Ireland at the height of the Troubles throughout the 1970s, I can honestly say that I've never known a football season quite like last term.
The coronavirus pandemic shut things down just when the Danske Bank Premiership's title race and relegation battle were beginning to heat up but it won't be long now until we're all back to picking the bones out of the latest action - and, fingers crossed, the 2020-21 campaign can be played to a finish. The campaign ahead is so tough to call because of the sheer amount of quality throughout the League but, listed by last year's finishing positions, here are my predictions for the upcoming season.
The champions will automatically start as pre-season favourites to retain the Gibson Cup and they've confirmed that thought by recruiting really well.
I always think it's wise to strengthen your squad when you're ahead of the pack and that's exactly what the Blues have done.
The title race is not a sprint, it is a marathon and to be successful, it's odds on that your squad will be stretched to the absolute limit, therefore you ideally need like-for-like cover for virtually every position and I feel Linfield have that.
Of all their signings, however, I do like Navid Nasseri, though I'm not quite sure there is room in the same team for him and Bastien Hery.
Both are superbly talented individual flair players but I'm not convinced both can share the same stage at the same time although, by the same token, I am quite sure manager David Healy will have already sussed how to combine both for the benefit of the team.
Mind you, although I imagine the bookies will have Linfield installed as favourites, I genuinely feel this season will be the tightest and most competitive title tilt there has been for years with at least six clubs all in with a genuine shout.
Key man: Jamie Mulgrew
The Bannsiders were nothing short of fantastic last season and were always in with a shout of doing the treble until a combination of Covid-19 and some other unforeseen setbacks cost them dearly.
Oran Kearney's men were without doubt the form team when football shut down prematurely but that confidence has continued throughout their Europa League campaign, so don't be in the slightest bit surprised if they go the whole way this season and win the biggest prize.
While I feel their squad may still lack enough quality strength in depth, they more than compensate for that with that vital ingredient all teams with genuine aspirations of success need and it's something money can't buy - it's called togetherness.
For Coleraine to win the League, it's essential they avoid injuries and suspensions and, if they do, then they are more than capable.
Key player: Lyndon Kane
There have been lots of comings and goings at Seaview of late and it's clear to me that the Crues are preparing for another tilt at winning the title back.
Several of their vastly experienced defenders - including Colin Coates, Howard Beverland and Sean Ward - have all left for pastures new and it's obvious the management staff have seen the need for change in the back four.
The stellar signing of the much-fancied Adam Lecky from Ballymena United will give the Shore Road men even more firepower up front and if the new defence can quickly become a resolute unit then the Hatchetmen can also most definitely challenge for top spot.
Key man: Jordan Owens
The Reds have had a fairly settled squad for some time now and under the guidance of manager Paddy McLaughlin - himself a former centre-back - have addressed what was long their Achilles heel and have tightened up considerably in defence.
With the likes of Joe 'The Goal' Gormley in attack, they will always put the ball in the net but there's no point scoring goals every week if you're going to leave the back door open and be vulnerable defensively.
Although Cliftonville were the best team defensively in the League last season, as fate would have it the normally prolific Gormley lost form in the second half of the campaign and the team too often didn't play as a unit.
However, if they can get it right at both ends and hit the ground running, then they, too, can threaten the top spot although they are still an outside bet.
Key man: Joe Gormley
What a completely transformed club the Glens have become over the last couple of years and, for the first time in ages, I genuinely feel they have what it takes to win the Premiership.
With an excellent management team of Mick McDermott and Paul Millar, there is now a stability throughout the club and without doubt enough talent on the playing front to win it this year.
My only concern is that with so many new signings and players to choose from, it may take time for Mick to find his best team selection and very often by the time that crucial consistency is discovered, the leaders are gone and out of reach.
Nevertheless, I can see real signs of a title-winning team being assembled at The Oval and in Robbie McDaid they have who I consider the best striker in the Irish League.
Key man: Robbie McDaid
What else can I say other than I think the Inver Park club have been an absolute breath of fresh air for Irish League football?
Their tremendous progress on the field of play has been matched by an exceptional stadium development to the extent of where the entire club is now virtually unrecognisable from what it was before.
Now as a result of a lot of hard work creating a proper infrastructure, Larne have a team and a stadium both the town and indeed the borough can be proud of.
The East Antrim outfit are unquestionably geared for success and, although they have been busy in the transfer market with a flurry of signings, I think pushing for a European slot would represent a good season because I still think the title may be a year or two away yet - but if they maintain their current rate of progress, make no mistake about it, they have all the capabilities to become champions.
Key man: Fuad Sule
It wasn't a great season for the Lurgan Blues last term but I attribute a lot of that to losing too many talented players and not being able to replace them with like-for-like.
Defensively, the Mourneview Park men were really poor and lost heavily in some games which does absolutely zero for anyone's already fragile confidence.
However, the arrival of a seasoned campaigner like Sean Ward - joining a backline that welcomed Colin Coates and Calum Birney in January - should help bolster that department.
Another Crusaders hero, Matthew Snoddy, has re-signed for a one-year loan period and he will help provide creativity and goals.
Gary Hamilton is a top young manager and he will know this is the beginning of another rebuild job as he looks to the future, so he will see this season as one of consolidation.
Key man: Jonny Tuffey
Another club that punches well above its weight with a manager who I consider to be one of the most under-rated in our game.
I was most impressed by Rangers last season and, although they operate with one of the League's smaller fan bases, the club management and Niall Currie in particular have that unique knack of picking up surplus players from other clubs and transforming them into regular performers.
The East Antrim club will see mid-table as a realistic goal and perhaps a decent run in the cups as a bonus.
Key man: Jonny Frazer
I think it's pretty accurate to say that Dungannon endured a season of toil last time out and for long periods it seemed odds on that they would be engulfed in the relegation battle.
They flirted just above the dreaded drop zone for a lot longer than the Stangmore Park faithful would have liked but, come the turn of the year, they began to show some decent form and picked up the vital points which guaranteed their top-flight safety and that pleases me because this club, its facilities and the manner in which they conduct themselves are a credit to our Premiership.
Some much-needed new blood has been signed up in the close season and I particularly like the acquisition of Lorcan Forde, who is a young player I still feel has yet to fulfil his true potential and someone like that is always worth a punt.
Key man: Michael Carvill
Although United performed really well in the knockout competitions last season, their League form fell well below the standards they had set the previous term when they pushed Linfield all the way for the title.
Like most clubs, the Sky Blues have been relatively busy in the transfer market and I have been impressed by their acquisitions to date.
The fact that manager David Jeffrey has recently signed a new extended contract also indicates that both he and the club feel they have some unfinished business to attend to.
While they may have lost the much admired Adam Lecky to Crusaders, I believe they have acquired an excellent replacement in Northern Ireland international Shay McCartan.
Key man: Leroy Millar
Not too dissimilar to Carrick in that they operate with a relatively small fan base at Milltown which invariably impacts on the player recruitment budget, so in many ways it's a victory in itself that a club like Warrenpoint can compete at the very top level.
Nevertheless, despite the lack of the same financial clout as some other clubs, manager Barry Gray has succeeded in galvanising the Point ever since he re-assumed the managerial reins and they, too, have made some impressive signings.
Again, mid-table would be a very welcome sign of progress and if they can find a regular goalscorer then I wouldn't rule it out.
Key man: Gavin Peers
The Ports will inevitably inherit the relegation favourites tag as newly-promoted clubs usually do, but just try telling that to the Shamrock Park faithful and then take a good step back as they give you their answer.
This proud club were for years the envy of many in the Premiership as they showed the rest how to win major trophies on a pretty regular basis, particularly under the mercurial Ronnie McFall.
However, a combination of many things saw the Ports fall from grace which culminated in them losing their top-flight status and it's been a real struggle ever since to find the magical formula required to get back to dining at the top table with those other household names in the top tier.
Cue the return of former player and fans' favourite Matthew Tipton (above), plus a much-changed management committee, and suddenly the whole plan clicked into place and the Shamrock Reds are finally back in the big time - and make no mistake about, it they are back on merit. Even so, survival this season will be the main priority and aim.
Key man: Paddy McNally
Prediction: 11th (Play-Offs)